headcounts grow 5%; pay rates surge at 7% pace

the only down spots? tax prep and payroll.

by beth bellor
卡塔尔世界杯常规比赛时间 research

we like to see a month or two of increases when we’re talking about jobs, but how about six or seven? that’s the rosy picture seen across several sectors in accounting, according to the latest available data.

more:cpa staff wages hit new high and keep climbing|firms battle staff shortages with pay hikes|tax & accounting firms beef up wages and headcounts|employee counts, earnings rise
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oh, you’re an employee looking at potential earnings? they just hit new highs at cpa firms and for staff overall.

we report here on the accounting profession as a whole as well as:

  • cpa firms
  • tax preparation services
  • payroll services
  • bookkeeping
  • women

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cpa staff wages hit new high and keep climbing

tax prep hiring surges.

line chart
earnings for staff in cpa firms:up 5.8 percent for the year

by beth bellor
卡塔尔世界杯常规比赛时间 research

earnings remain a bright spot in the accounting profession. we track other figures as well, of course, but when recruiting and staffing, this is the number your candidates are eyeing.

more:firms battle staff shortages with pay hikes|tax & accounting firms beef up wages and headcounts|employee counts, earnings rise
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the minimum hike year over year is 4.4 percent. according to the latest data available, these are average hourly earnings:

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firms battle staff shortages with pay hikes

except at payroll agencies, where wage gains are dipping.

cpa firm wages:up 9.8% from a year ago.

by beth bellor

let’s talk about earnings, because the latest national data shows some good news on that front. hourly earnings in the accounting profession have nudged above $39 for the first time, to $39.09, up 81 cents or 2.1% for the month and $2.48 or 6.8% for the year.

more:tax & accounting firms beef up wages and headcounts|cpa hiring rises as number of new grads continues to decline|staffing crisis: 40% are looking for new jobs

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another new high came at cpa firms, where they topped $41 for the first time at $41.61, up $1.23 or 3% for the month and $3.70 or 9.8% for the year. staff at cpa firms followed the trend with $31.84, up 53 cents or 1.7% for the month and $2.02 or 6.8% for the year.

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tax & accounting firms beef up wages and headcounts

line chartgrowth seen across the board.

by beth bellor

tough to find employees to fill accounting posts? someone is managing. overall employment in the accounting profession rose to 1,101,900 in may, up 15,600 or 1.4 percent for the month and 52,000 or 5 percent for the year.

more in staffing and talent management:cpa hiring rises as number of new grads continues to decline|five tips for virtual team member happiness|why doing nothing is not an option|when an employee’s growth has gaps|from senior to manager in 12 quick questions|staffing crisis: 40% are looking for new jobs|

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every sector of the industry is pushing ahead with salary increases or new hiring, or both.

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payroll services rocket with u.s. economy

cpa firms expand by 6%. tax prep takes losses.

line graph
^ staff employment in payroll services

new highs in headcounts and hourly wages.

by beth bellor

there were bright spots in several sectors of the latest employment figures, but let’s get the ball rolling with the most gleaming: payroll services, which set a couple of new highs on the way to positive year-over-year marks in every measure but hours.

and by “positive,” we mean the likes of 16 and 17 percent.

more on staffing:thedisruptors: re-inventing accounting with tyler anderson|stop complaining and start innovating|staff retention for remote workers|staffing shortage cripples growth at 40% of firms|is it time to outsource?|the six essential kpis for managing partners|competing for talent in a private-equity world|the great resignation: five reasons accountants are quitting|a tech stipend for employees? why not?|five ways to get staff to own their work

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payroll services overall hit a new high of 192,300 employees, up 1,500, or 0.8 percent for the month, and 28,800 or 17.6 percent for the year.

those employees worked 35.8 hours, up 12 minutes or 0.6 percent for the month but down 2 hours 6 minutes or 5.5 percent for the year.

their earnings set a record at $40.53, up 20 cents or 0.5 percent for the month and $5.18 or 14.7 percent for the year.

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staffing shortage cripples growth at 40% of firms

on the frontlines:about 64% of firms surveyed globally by 卡塔尔世界杯常规比赛时间 are scrambling for new hires.

in the u.s., tax and accounting firms are adding jobs at a robust 7% rate, but that’s still short of what’s needed.

by beth bellor

from arizona to zimbabwe, and dublin to cinncinatti, tax and accounting firms are telling 卡塔尔世界杯常规比赛时间 that they are so short of staff they’re turning away new business.

how to face down the covid talent crunch:
join the survey. get the answers.

the scramble for talent is global and it’s forcing fundamental changes in how accountants do business.

reports are coming into 卡塔尔世界杯常规比赛时间 from around the world and they are dismally similar:

  • tucson, ariz.:at r&a cpas, chief recruiter nancy allison says they’re turning to “hiring fully remote employees, making fully remote and hybrid work permanent for existing team members, and utilizing outsourced services for tax preparation assistance.”
  • marondera, zimbabwe:accountancy consultant billy ndlovu tells 卡塔尔世界杯常规比赛时间 they are turning away new clients even as they battle the covid upheavals that are “changing how we do things.”
  • dublin, ireland:anthony casey at noone casey is staying ahead of the curve by finding productivity gains in remote working and picking up new staffers with specialty skills.
  • cincinnatti:back in the u.s., rick kruse at kruse & crawford is turning to new technology even as they trim their headcount.

卡塔尔世界杯常规比赛时间 polling shows about 64 percent of firms are seeking to add additional staffers, even as 60 percent of firms are turning away new work due to the crippling shortage of new hands.

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tax pros end season with 54% share

irs data chart

return and refund numbers were both well up.

by beth bellor

we here at 卡塔尔世界杯常规比赛时间 love to make valid comparisons. apples to apples, you might say. so we really, really wanted the irs to release 2021 data that would align with 2020’s july 15 individual income tax return filing deadline.

more:tax pros race to the finish line|tax pros widen lead over amateurs|pros surge ahead in tax prep|survey: tax season swings into the red|another tax season from hell?
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nah. didn’t happen. we waited. stil, nah. the last data was pushed out for june 11 and crickets since then. so much for relying on the government for useful information, huh?
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tax season ends with pros covering 54% of returns

data chartdirect deposit refunds were the only down note.

by beth bellor

the final report from the tax season we thought would never end is in, and on higher notes than might have been expected.

more:54% of tax returns go through pros|tax pros race to the finish line|tax pros widen lead over amateurs|pros surge ahead in tax prep|tax pros handle 53% of e-filings|tax pros hold their ground
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the agency received 148 million individual income tax returns, up 11.8 percent from the same period in 2020, when the endless season was 18 days longer. it processed 135.8 million returns, up 13.4 percent and setting the processing rate at 91.7 percent.
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tax pros retake market share from diyers

with a 10 point late-season surge.

by beth bellor

coming into the last 10 days of this wretched season, you take the good news where you can find it.

more:tax pros race to the finish line|tax pros widen lead over amateurs|pros surge ahead in tax prep|tax pros handle 53% of e-filings|tax pros hold their ground|pros tackle 49% of e-filed returns
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and the good news in the last lap of tax season 2021 is that tax professionals were filing returns at more than three times the rate of do-it-yourselfers. it’s not enough to say that tax professionals have reversed years of declining market share, but in an otherwise horrible year for many, it might count as a small win.

the irs had received 126.8 million individual income tax returns, down 1.1 percent from the same period in 2020, and processed 116 million, up 0.2 percent, as of may 7, the latest data available. that pegged the agency’s processing rate at 91.5 percent.read more →

tax pros race to the finish line

the tax season from hell enters its final stages.

from the front lines(clockwise from top left): hill, saarinen, watson, holmes, claasen, barber, metzger, sorge, rowe
how are accountants handling this crazy tax season?
bonus question: the new rules for small busines post-pandemic?
join the survey. get the facts.

by beth bellor
卡塔尔世界杯常规比赛时间 research

tax professionals are entering the final stretch of a second crisis-wracked busy season with only a precious few reporting better-than-year-ago metrics so far, according to the 20th annual 卡塔尔世界杯常规比赛时间 busy season tracking poll.

this is a recovery?nearly half of tax professionals are reporting this year’s busy season metrics “worse” than last year’s. source: 卡塔尔世界杯常规比赛时间 busy season barometer.

more:pros surge ahead in tax prep|tax pros handle 53% of e-filings|tax pros hold their ground|pros tackle 49% of e-filed returns|survey: tax season swings into the red|another tax season from hell?
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meanwhile, the spread between tax professionals’ gains and diyers’ losses increased from 9.1 percentage points in the last reporting period to 12.2 points in the lastest, according to data reported by internal revenue service for the week ending april 23, the latest available.

the agency had received 116.1 million individual income tax returns, down 4.7 percent from the same period in 2020 when tax season began 18 days earlier. it had processed 105.3 million returns, down 4.3 percent, pegging its processing rate at 90.7 percent.

some 49 percent are calling 2021 “worse” than 2020, with about 16 percent holding steady, and 36 percent reporting a “better” year, including 10 percent enjoying a “much better” season.

read more →

pros surge ahead in tax prep

data chartrefunds are up overall, but down in direct deposit.

by beth bellor

are those diyers losing ground while the tax professionals gain it? why yes. that’s exactly the case.

more:tax pros handle 53% of e-filings|tax pros hold their ground|pros tackle 49% of e-filed returns|survey: tax season swings into the red|another tax season from hell?
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the pros pulled out of the red year-over-year and solidly hit the black – or green, according to our chart – by preparing 55.5 million electronic filings of individual income tax returns, 3.4 percent higher than the same week last year. factor in that 2021’s season started 18 days later, and there is some real reason to preen.
read more →

tax pros handle 53% of e-filings

refunds larger overall, but down for direct deposit.

by beth bellor

less than a month to go in busy season 2021! can i get a hallelujah?

more:tax pros hold their ground|pros tackle 49% of e-filed returns|survey: tax season swings into the red|another tax season from hell?|pros process 44% of tax e-filings|tax professionals report tough slogging|busy season 2021 gets off to weak start
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for the period ending april 9, the latest data available, this was the week in both 2021 and 2020 that individual income tax returns surpassed 100 million. at 100.9 million, the figure was down 3 percent from last year, when filing had gone on for 18 days longer and taxpayers still had three more months to turn things in.

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women lag men in accounting jobs recovery

new records set in hourly earnings.

by beth bellor

across the tax and accounting industry, almost all the jobs relinquished by men in the coronavirus layoffs have been regained by men. the jobs given up by women, on the other hand, are still largely vacant.

more on jobs:comeback stalls as layoffs hit 1,500 in accounting|tax & accounting regains 3,800 jobs|accounting jobs recovery slows|tax & accounting firms rehire two-thirds of pre-covid workforce|tax & accounting firms rehire two-thirds of pre-covid workforce
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overall, the tax, accounting, tax prep, payroll, and bookkeeping sectors employed 1.02 million full-time equivalents in march 2020, before 70,000 layoffs hit in april. so far, the industry has re-filled all but 17,600 positions.

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tax pros hold their ground

in shorter season, professional e-filings are down only 5.6%.

by beth bellor

year-to-year tax filing statistics stabilized ever so slightly this week, as average refunds slipped out of the red and irs visits backed off a bit in pace.

more:pros tackle 49% of e-filed returns|survey: tax season swings into the red|another tax season from hell?|pros process 44% of tax e-filings|tax professionals report tough slogging|busy season 2021 gets off to weak start
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the internal revenue service had received 93.2 million individual income tax returns as of april 2, down 4.3 percent from the same period in 2020. in releasing the latest available data, the agency noted that the filing season began 18 days later this year, skewing comparisons.
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pros tackle 49% of e-filed returns

chart of weekly irs tax return filing datarefunds are down 19% in number and total amount.

by beth bellor

as in recent years, accountants are losing ground to diyers when it comes to individual income tax returns. the question is, do they care? or is this ground they’re all too ready to yield for more profitable pastures?

more:survey: tax season swings into the red|another tax season from hell?|pros process 44% of tax e-filings|tax professionals report tough slogging|busy season 2021 gets off to weak start
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the irs had received 85 million returns as of march 26, down 6.2 percent in a season that started 18 days later than in 2020. it had processed 76 million, down 12.7 percent.
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